Box Elder fire officials already concerned about burn conditions

Apr 26, 2018, 5:47 PM | Updated: 9:07 pm

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah – Dry conditions have the Box Elder Country fire marshal worried about the upcoming fire season.

To many people, the views west of Brigham City off Interstate 15 look like a lot of nothing. As Corey Barton drives around, though, he sees plenty.

“A lot of people have been burning for years and years and years, but we’ve got different conditions this year.”

“It’s dryer than we’ve ever seen it this early as far as the fuel moisture,” says Barton.

Barton is the fire marshal for Box Elder County and knows he’s probably not going to get a lot of sleep this season.

He’s already losing sleep just thinking about it.

“What I want people to know is the conditions are already dangerous. We had a control burn get out of control yesterday,” he said.

That burn was in Tremonton on Wednesday. Several fire departments were called to a fire at 11818 north, 9200 west.

The property owners got a burn permit, notified the fire department, and waited for decent conditions to burn part of their land.

Even still, though, when some flames reached the dry grass, it took off and burned sheds, vehicles, and part of a house.

“You really have to be careful,” said Barton. “A lot of people have been burning for years and years and years, but we’ve got different conditions this year.”

The Tremonton fire wasn’t the first burn to get away from someone already this fire season.

Barton didn’t think it would be the last.

“There’s some days we’ll issue 200 to 300 burn permits in a day,” he said. “We’ve been telling them to be extremely careful because they are still responsible from the moment they light the match to until the fire is completely out.”

Those permits are needed to burn land, especially for such an agricultural county like Box Elder.

Even if it’s dry.

“If you feel like you need help with your burns, or you’re a little nervous about it, call the fire marshal’s office. We’ll be glad to send a truck out your way to help you burn it safely,” said Barton. “We have trucks all over the county.”

One such truck was helping with a burn just off Highway 89 in Brigham City Thursday afternoon.

The best part is, Barton said the county doesn’t charge to help with those types of burns.

“It’s just we want to make sure people are safe and everything is okay,” he said.

The state’s residential burn window closes May 30. After then, the county can only issue agricultural burn permits.

Information about obtaining a burn permit in Box Elder County can be found on their Open Burn page.

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